The trading group Rewe is supposed to pay a data protection penalty of two million euros in Austria. When registering for the customer loyalty program come Bonus Club is said not to have properly explained to Rewe that customer data and their shopping behavior are used to create individual profiles, and that the information is also passed on to partner companies.
That reports the daily newspaper The standard. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) prescribes easily accessible information in clear and simple language. Rewe had designed the registration for the jö Bonus Club in such a way that the information about the profiling could only be found by scrolling down. However, the selection “Yes” or “No” for consent was appropriate above, so that, as a rule, consent was obtained prior to clarification.
Unsurprisingly, Austria’s data protection authority considers this to be inadmissible. According to the report, Rewe also admitted this after an initial procedure and then designed its registration form to be legally compliant – however, the trading group is said to have continued to use the data of 2.3 million Austrians who had joined via the inadequate form without obtaining proper consent.
Big Brother Award for the bonus club
The jö bonus club set up in 2019 goes beyond the Rewe group boundaries. More than a dozen companies, from supermarkets to petrol stations to furniture stores, are there and look forward to the customer data. The resulting concentration of data is not only enormous for consumer advocates.
That is why Rewe received the Austrian Big Brother Award 2019 in the “Communication and Marketing” category: “Someone has to pay for the advertising and administration of the card, as it will certainly not be issued at the expense of REWE’s profit. So only the customers remain and suppliers who have to bear the additional costs “, the jury justified their” award ceremony “at the time.
International business from Lower Austria
heise online has asked REWE International, based in Wiener Neudorf, to comment on the data protection penalty. The group controls its business in Austria, Bulgaria, Italy, Croatia, Lithuania, Romania, the Czech Republic and Hungary from the Lower Austrian town. In these countries, the subsidiary of the German REWE Group employs almost 95,000 people in more than 4,400 branches.
In Austria, Rewe is represented by the supermarkets Billa and Penny, the drugstore chain BIPA and the bookseller Libro. The Austrian supermarket brand Mercury has discontinued Rewe this year.